By Rod Webb

Most people know how we put off what is really important in life, like spending more time with our friends and family, because we are too busy just getting on with it. And some of us have experienced a crisis where normal life has to be temporarily put on one side – but find that during this time life carries on as if by itself.

And so with the global climate emergency. When Extinction Rebellion (XR) came along, I was all for it; but then I just didn’t have time to get involved. I had lots of good reasons, mainly convincing myself that I was already involved with too many other things. And although it was a crisis, it didn’t seem to have the immediacy of a personal life crisis.

Then, at the end of September, I was persuaded to join a drumming group – an XR drumming group. As I’ve always wanted to get involved in drumming, I made the time.

That turned out to be my tipping point. The next day I found myself on the XR funeral march through town, battling high winds while holding up one side of a banner. Despite the wind, despite the effort involved, it was really worth it, something I knew I ought to do, for myself and for my children and for my grandchildren. But it was also enjoyable in a way that only special things can be enjoyed – stepping out of ‘real life’ and into something important.

We all have different reasons for not getting involved and for most, including myself, it’s a deep-down refusal to accept that our world is changing and that we have to leave behind some of our comfortable certainties. But in reality, what appear certainties are just illusions that bury the truth of what is happening – and that, I suggest, is what partly fuels the current epidemic of anxiety. By accepting where we are and that things must change – and more importantly doing something about it – we can actually find some of the peace of mind we are all looking for.

It’s not too late to get involved in the two-week UK Action in London, as part of “International Rebellion”, starting 7th October. XR’s message is: “If you think you have nothing to contribute, think again. Bring yourself, and that will be enough.”

The XR funeral procession through the streets of Hastings
last Saturday was held “to commemorate the hundreds of thousands of human lives already lost, the massive loss of biodiversity that our planet has already seen, and to raise awareness of the impending devastation to our natural world that we can all expect unless radical changes are made to our entire economy without delay”.

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